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Social Innovation, M.A.

Credits Required

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in social innovation is designed to prepare individuals to foster and lead innovation throughout their organizations, businesses, and communities in ways that impact daily operations.

The program prepares students to critically examine and address complex social problems such as childhood hunger, illiteracy, domestic violence, air pollution, food deserts, contaminated drinking water, poverty, and homelessness.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

The social innovation program consists of 36 credit hours of coursework. There are no prerequisites and students with any bachelor's degree may be accepted. Courses will be offered as a hybrid, meeting both in class and online. In-person courses will meet at the Robert C. Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. The program features courses in social innovation, public administration, social work, and management.

  • Six core courses in social innovation and public administration: 18 credits
  • Three application courses for project: 9 credits
  • Three courses of synthesis coursework: 9 credits

Why Study Social Innovation at Grand Valley?

  • In-demand. Sustainability consultants make a median salary of $60,926 in the United States according to
  • Desired skills. Nationally, employers post jobs for masters level social innovation skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication (written and verbal), problem solving, and analytical/qualitative skills. Local and regional organizations are including social innovation as a desired skill in job descriptions.
  • Flexible. Courses are hybrid, offered in a combination of in person and online.
  • Unique. This program is the only social innovation program in Michigan offering a focus on critical, humanistic, integrative, and interdisciplinary approaches to social issues.

Application Deadline

Deadline for fall semester is June 1; winter is November 1; and spring/summer is April 1. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Please visit

Helpful Links

For More Information

Liberal Studies Department
324 Lake Ontario Hall, (616) 331-8020

Graduate Admissions Office

Location & Format

Face to face courses are scheduled during the day and are offered at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.


Topics covered:

  • Cross-sector innovation
  • Corporate Social Responsibilities
  • Civic action
  • Community engagement strategies
  • Environmental justice
  • Policy development skills

Students also have the option to combine internships, global learning experiences, study abroad, collaborative assignments and projects, problem-based learning, and a blending of traditional disciplines, resulting in a unique degree experience.

Career Options

Graduates can expect to be employed in the following industries:

  • Education
  • Government
  • Health and human services
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Sustainable energy
  • Urban planning